Friday, March 5, 2021

The Top Ten jobs you thought were a joke

Reading Time: 5 minutesThere are some ridiculously unreal, paying professional opportunities in the current world of Weirdsville we live in…
If someone told you they were a professional sleeper or play on water slides for a living, chances are you’d think they were either pulling your leg or referring to their jobless status. But scan through our top ten list and you may find your ideal career amongst the jobs you might dismiss for a joke.
10. Professional mourners
Professional mourners attend funerals of strangers and pretend to mourn. This career is quite lucrative in China, Middle East and Africa where relatives of a deceased, fearing the funeral will not attract enough mourners, hire actors to sob and grieve to make their loved one appear more popular. The trend is catching on in western countries too with actors charging handsomely for their services. They train beforehand by learning about the person’s life and then appear grief-stricken at the funerals. Chatting up guests and pretending to know the deceased from work or as a friend is part of the act.

9. Odour judges
The demand for odour judges is on the rise with more and more industries employing people with sensitive noses to help them develop and improve their products. From food manufacturing to paint, paper, and rubber processing, odour judges are being sought for all sorts of olfactory evaluations. One industry that relies heavily on their services is deodorant manufacturers. The odour judges here are required to smell people’s underarms to determine which smell works the best and those working for mouthwash companies get to smell people’s breath.

8. Water slide testers

Employed by some theme parks to test the effectiveness of their water based activities, a water slide tester does exactly what the job title suggests; test water slides for splash factor, adrenalin rush and ease of use. And if you thought they earn their honest crust by conducting extensive tests with modern hi-tech equipment, you couldn’t be more wrong. In fact they get paid for slipping into their bathers and sliding down water slides and tunnels at water parks. But we bet, just like the rest of us they’d be moaning, ‘it’s not as easy as it looks!’ Really?

7. Potato chip inspectors

You must have a high school certificate or a higher qualification to apply for a Potato Chip Inspector’s position. The professional chip inspectors observe potato chips on the conveyor belt and are responsible for removing the ones that are burned, discoloured or broken. With an important title to uphold, the position requires Potato Chip Inspectors to be reliable, trustworthy team players who are also able to work independently to get the job done.

6. Dog food testers

Dog food companies employ testers to taste their products. Dog food testers are responsible for making sure that the food that is being put on the shelves is up to scratch. First they inspect the food visually to ensure it has the bits and pieces advertised on the label like peas or beans. Then they sniff it to make sure it doesn’t smell bad. Finally comes the taste test where they actually try the feel of the food in their mouth to determine the crunch and texture of the finished product.

5. Wrinkle chasers

No, they’re not cosmetic surgeons chasing wrinkles off aging skin, but you wouldn’t have been too far off the mark if you thought so. A wrinkle chaser’s job is to iron wrinkles from shoes. They inspect shoes, inside out, for any wrinkles and use heated irons, hot air blowers and hand tools to smooth them out. A wrinkle chaser may be designated according to the part of shoe ironed as Lining Ironer or Heel Cover Ironer and so on.

4. Professional snugglers

If you’re smart you can make money doing just about anything. Professional snugglers help people de-stress by snuggling up with them while they sleep. They provide non-sexual snuggling sessions for those who like to hug and cuddle while sleeping but don’t have the facility at home. Companies like The Snuggery, Snuggle House and Snuggle Buddies are cashing in on the human need for touch while providing a steady income for an increasing number of professional snugglers.

3. Stand-in bridesmaids
Recent years have seen more and more girls enter this profession as demand for stand-in bridesmaids increase. They are hired by brides who are low on friends or have had a falling with their bridesmaids at the eleventh hour. A stand-in bridesmaid must be a presentable, cheerful, articulate actor who can play the part of a bride’s friend convincingly. As the competition stiffens some stand-ins are offering additional services like writing the bride’s speeches and organising hen’s parties to stay in the game.

2. Note takers
Note takers for college students are paid by the hour to take notes in the classroom, usually for students whose disability affects their note taking capacity. However, professional note takers are also in demand from undergraduate medical students for their superior note taking skills. To be successful in this profession a person must have good writing skills, legible handwriting and an ability to take comprehensive class notes.

1. Professional sleepers

Yes, it’s a real job and someone gets to do it! The growing interest in understanding the intricacies of sleep has given rise to a demand for professional sleepers who can help with research into sleep patterns and dream studies. That, however, is not the limit of their employability. Mattress and bed producers also need people to test the comfort and support of beds and people are cashing in by sleeping on the job and getting paid for it.

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Farzana Ahmad
Farzana is a freelance writer, artist and children's author

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